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congress. one of the most frequent criticisms we have heard is that you haven't done enough to reach out and build relationships. are there concrete ways you plan to approach your relationships with congress in the second term? >> look, i think there is no doubt that i can always do better. so i will -- you know -- examine ways that i can make sure to communicate my desire to work with everybody. so long as it's advancing the cause of strengthening the middle class and improving the economy. i have good relationships with folks in the house and senate. i have a lot of relationships on both sides of the aisle. it hasn't always manifested itself in the kind of agreements i would like to see between democrats and republicans. and so, think all of us have
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opponen responsibility of things to see if we can improve on. i need to see if i can improve our working relationship. probably some very sharp differences still. and as i said in the campaign, there will be times where there are fights. think those are fights that need to be had. but, what i think the american people don't want to see is a focus on the next election instead of a focus on them. and, i don't have another election. and you know, michelle and i were talking last night about, you know, what an incredible honor and privilege it is to -- to be put in this position. and there are people all across the country, millions of folks who have worked so hard to help us get elected. but there are also millions of people that may not have voted for us and are also counting on us. we take that responsibility very
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seriously. i take that responsibility very seriously. and -- i hope and intend to be an even better president in the second term than i was in the first. jonathan karl? >> thank you, mr. president. of senator john mccain and senator lindsey graham both said they want watergate style hearings on the attack in benghazi. they said if you nominate susan rice for secretary of state, they will do everything they can to block her nomination. i would like your reaction to that. would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that? >> i'm not going to comment at this point on -- various nominations that i will put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. those are things still being discussed. let me say about susan rice.
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she's done exemplary work. she's represented the united states and our interests in the -- united nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. as i have said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and was
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simply making a presentation based on intelligence she received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. and -- we're after an election now. i think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in benghazi. i'm happy to cooperate in any way congress wants. we have provided every bit of information we have. we'll continue to provide information. we have a full-blown investigation. that information will be given to congress. and i don't think there is any debate in this country that when you have four americans killed, that's a problem. and we have to get to the bottom of it. there needs to be accountability. we have to wring those who carried it out to justice. you won't get debate from me on that. when they go after the u.n.
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ambassador? apparently because they think she's an easy target. then they have a problem with me. and should i choose, if i think that she would be the best person to serve america, um -- in the capacity of the state department, i will nominate her. that's not a determination i have made yet. ed henry? >> i want to take chuck's lead and ask a small followup. whether you feel you have a mandate not just on taxes but on a range of issues, because of your decisive issues. i want to stay on benghazi based on what jon asked. i wanted to ask about the families of the four americans killed. shawn smith's father said he believes his son called 911 for help and they didn't get it.
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you said you grieve for these four americans. the families have been waiting for more than two months. i would like for you to address the families, if you can, on 9/11, as commander in chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives? >> ed, i'll address the families not through the press. i'll address them directly, as i already have. and we will provide all the information that is available. about what happened on that day. that's what the investigation is for. but as i said, repeatedly, if people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure that we saved the lives of folks who i sent there. and who were carrying out missions on behalf of the united states, then you don't know how our defense department thinks or our state department thinks our our cia things.
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their number one priority is to protect american lives. that's what our job is. ed, i'll put forward -- i'll put forward every bit of information that we have. i can tell you that immediately upon finding out that our folks were in danger, that my orders to my national security team were do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe. and that's the same order that i would give any time i see americans are in danger, civilian or military. because that's our number one priority. with respect to the issue of mandate, um -- i've got one mandate. i've got a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get in the middle class. that's my mandate. that's what the american people said. work really hard to help us. don't worry about the politics
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of it. don't worry about the party interests, don't worry about the special interests. work hard to see if you can help us get ahead, because we're working hard out here and still struggling. that's my mandate. i don't presume that because i won an election that everybody suddenly agrees with me on everything. i'm more than familiar with the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. we're very cautious about that. on the other hand, i didn't get re-elected just to bask in re-election. i got elected to do work. on behalf of american families and small businesses all across the country who are still recovering from a really bad recession but are hopeful about the future. and i am, too. the one thing that -- i said
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during the campaign, that maybe sounds like a bunch of campaign rhetoric. when you travel around the country, you're inspired by the grit and resilience and hard work and decency of the american people. it just makes you want to work harder. you meet families who have overcome really tough odds. and somehow, are making it and sending their kids to college and you meet young people who are doing incredible work in disadvantage communities because they believe in the american ideal and it should be available for everybody. and you meet farmers helping each other in times of drought. you meet businesses that kept their doors open during the
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recession, even though the owner didn't have to take a salary. when you talk to these folks, you say to yourself, man, they deserve a better government than they've been getting. they deserve all of us here in washington to be thinking every, single day, how can i make things better for them? which is not to say that everything we do is going to be perfect or that there aren't going to be tough challenges that we have to grapple with. but -- i do know the federal government can make a difference. we're seeing t right now on the jersey coast and in new york. people are still going through a really tough time. the response hasn't been perfect. but -- it's been -- aggressive and strong. and fast. and robust. and a lot of people have been helped because of it. and that's a good metaphor for how i want the federal government to operate generally.
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christy parsons? hey. >> thank you, mr. president. and congratulations, by the way. >> thanks. christy was there when i was running for state senate. christy and i go back aways. >> i have never seen you lose. i wasn't looking that one time. >> there you go. >> one quick followup and then i want to ask you about iran. can you envision any scenario in which we do go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year? and on iran, are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve the nuclear program issue? are we headed toward one-on-one talks? >> we can all imagine a scenario where we go off the fiscal cliff. if -- if, despite the election, if despite the dangers of going
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over the fiscal cliff and what that means for our economy that there's too much stubbornness in congress that we can't even agree on giving middle class families a tax cut, then middle class families will have a big tax hike. that's going to be a pretty road shock for them and i suspect will have a big impact on the holiday shopping season, which, in turn, will have an impact on business planning and hiring. and we can go back into a recessi recession. it would be a bad thing. it is not necessary. i want to repeat. step number one that we can take in the next couple of weeks provide certainty to middle class fam lirks 98% of family who is make less than $250,000 a year, 97% of small businesses, that their taxes will not go up
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a dime next year. give them that certainty. get that done. we can set up a structure whereby we are dealing with tax reform, closing loop hoels, dealing with entitlements. i'm ready and willing to make big commitments to make sure we're locking in the kind of deficit reductions that stabilize the deficit, start bringing it down, bringing down the debt. i'm confident we can do it. it's -- and look, i've been living with this for a couple of years now. i know the math pretty well. and -- it -- it really is arithmetic. it's not calculus. there are some tough things that have to be done. there's a way of doing it that doesn't hurt middle-class families. that does not hurt our seniors. families with disabled kids. allows us to continue to invest in things that make us grow like basic research and education.
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helping young people afford to go to college. as we have heard fromatorcommen modest increase on tax will not break their backes. they'll still be wealthy. it will not impinge of business development. we have to come together and say, democrats and republicans, we're both going to hold hands and do what is right for the american people. i hope that's what happens. with respect to iran, i -- i very much want to see a diplomatic resolution to the problem. i was very clear before the campaign. i was clear during the campaign. i'm now clear after the campaign. we're not going to let iran get a nuclear weapon. but, think there is still a window of time to resolve this
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diplomatically. we have imposed the toughest saxs sa sanctions in history. there should be way they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while meeting the international obligations and providing clear assurances to the international community they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon. so yes, i'll try to make a push to open up a dialogue between iran and the international community to get this thing we solved. i can't promise iran will walk through the door they need to walk through. that would be the preferred option. i won't talk about the details of negotiations. it's fair to say we want to get in resolved. we're not going to be constrained by diplomatic niceties or protocol.
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if iran is serious to resolve it, they'll do it. >> prior to the election, there was talk that talks might be imminent. >> that was not true. and it's not true as of today. just going to knock through a couple of others. mark landers. where is mark? right in front of me. >> in his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, mayor bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than you're opponent. i assume you'll see people in new york city tomorrow that are suffering from hurricane sandy. many people are saying that is further proof of how a warming globe is changing our weather. what do you plan to do in a second term to tackle climate change? do you think the political will
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exists in washington to pass legislation that could include a tax on carbon? >> you know, as you know, mark, we can't attribute any particular weather event to climate change. what we do know is the temperature around globe is increasing. faster than was predicted even ten years ago. the arctic icecap is melting. faster than was predicted even five years ago. we do know that there have been extraordinarily -- there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in north america but also around the globe. and i am a firm believer that climate change is real. that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions.
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as a consequence, i think we have an obligation to future generations to do something about it. in my first term, we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. that will have an impact. that will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere. we doubled the production of clean energy, which promises to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels for power generation. and we continue to invest in potential break-through technologies that could further remove carbon from our atmosphere. but we haven't done as much as we need to. so what i'm going to be doing over the next several weeks next several months is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers, elect engineers, elected officials to find out what more can we do to
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make short-term progress in reducing carbons. and then, you know, working through an education process that i think is necessary as discussion, a conversation across the country about what realistically can we do long term to make sure that this is not something we're passing on to future again rations that is expensive and difficult to deal with. i don't know what democrats or republicans are prepared to do at this point. this is not a partisan issue. there are regional issues. no doubt for us to take on climate change in a serious way would involve making some tough political choices.
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and -- understandably, think the american people right now, have been so focused and will continue to be focused on jobs and the economy and growth, that the message is if we're going ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, i don't think anybody is going to go for it. i won't go for it. if we can shape an agenda that says, we can create jobs, ed advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change, think the american people would support it. you can expect that you'll hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners by pa bipartisan support. >> sounds like you're saying that --
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>> that, i'm pretty certain of. look, we're still trying to debate whether we can make sure that middle class families don't get a tax hike. let's see if we can resolve that. that should be easy. this one's hard. but it's important. because one of the things we don't always factor in are the costs involved in the natural disasters. we just put them off as something unconnected to our behavior right now. think what, based on the evidence we're seeing, is that what we do now is going to have an impact and a cost down the road if we don't do something about it. all right, last question. uh -- mark feltenthal. where is mark? >> thank you. mr. president, the assad regime is involved in a brutal bara
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crackdown on its people. france is spoupporting -- is the any chance that we would support the rebels? >> i was one of the first that said assad had to go. in response to the incredible brutality that his government displayed in the face of what were initially peaceful protests. the situation has deteriorated since then. we have been extensively engaged with the situation. we have committed hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid. we're constantly consulting with the opposition on how they can get organized so that they're not splintered and divided in the face of the onslaught from the assad regime.
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we're in very close contact with countries like turkey and jordan. that immediately border syria and have an impact and obviously, israel, which is having grave concerns, as we do, for example, about movements of chemical weapons that might occur in such a chaotic atmosphere. it could have an impact on the region as a whole. i'm encouraged to see that the opposition created an umbrella group that may have more cohesion than they have had in the past. my envoys will be traveling and meeting with people. we consider them a legitimate representative of the as operations --
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aspirations of the syrian people. it's a broad-based representative group. one of the questions we'll continue to press is making sure that the opposition is committed to a democratic syria, an inclusive syria, a moderate syria. we have seen extremist elements insinuate themselves into the opposition. and one of the things that we have to be on guard about, particularly talking about arming opposition figures, is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the handles of folks who would do americans harm or israelis or otherwise engage in actions that are detrimental to our national security. we're constantly probing and working on that issue. the more engaged we are, the more we'll be in a position to make sure that we are
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encouraging the most moderate, thoughtful elements of the opposition that are committed to inclusion, observance of human rights and working coop rat actively with us over the long term. all right? thank you very much. [ inaudible question ] >> that was great question. it would be a horrible precedent for me to answer your question just because you yelled it out. so thank you very much, guys. >> and there you have the newly re-elected president his first press conference. first question about the petraeus scandal. he said i have no evidence in what i have seen that classified information was disclosed in that in way that would have had a negative impact. he praised the long career of
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general petraeus. >> he said he would not agree for extends the tax tuts for the top 2%. he went on to say he wouldn't slam the door in the face of people with ideas. i was struck by the range of questions the president got over that hour on just about every big issue out there. >> that's right. and a purely human note, seeing the president now, seeing him eight days ago, the difference in fatigue that the campaign makes. he said at one point, i don't have another election and he wants to be an even better president next time. >> strong defense of the u.n. ambassador, susan rice. some republican senators said they would filibuster. he said, if they have a problem are her, they have a problem with me. that is not the last we'll hear of that issue.
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>> it was a passionate and personal defense of her. we're so glad you were with us. always great to have you at abc. >> you'll have a lot more on "world news." >> i
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ABC7 News 1100AM
ABC November 14, 2012 11:00am-11:30am PST

News News/Business. New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, Benghazi 4, Susan Rice 3, Iran 3, U.n. 3, Syria 3, Christy 2, United States 2, Washington 2, John Mccain 1, Jonathan Karl 1, Mccain 1, Christy Parsons 1, Lindsey Graham 1, Mark Landers 1, Graham 1, Assad Regime 1, Abc 1, United Nations 1, Fam Lirks 1
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